Oprah’s acceptance speech was amazing. Made me bawl my eyes out and filled me with hope for a better future.
Yesterday, I had a migraine that became increasingly debilitating as the day went on. I ended up taking a mersyndol (lord help me when I need a prescription come February 1 – it’s the only thing that relieves the pain of my migraines) and slept ten hours.
But, whilst in pain, unable to do much else, I felt a surge of something fire my soul and I googled the NSW Ombudsman. If I were to lodge a complaint about the investigative process utilized by EPAC during 2016 (not their decision, but the process), I need to complain internally first. When that fails, as it will, I then refer the complaint to the NSW Ombudsman’s Office.
I am angry (still – a sign I need to do something) that it:
* took as long as it did (nine months – seriously impacting my mental health),
* took so long for me to be informed why I was under investigation (three months),
* took so long for me to be given a chance to respond (closer to five months),
* involved me being instructed to not discuss it at work with anyone (when others were gossiping about it willy nilly),
* resulted in me not being permitted to have a Support Person within my workplace,
* I was not given the opportunity to show or provide any supporting evidence in my defense before being labeled a “self-serving liar” by the lower ranked investigators, and
* took so long to receive the adjudication after the letter had been typed and dated (November – I received it in December after enquiring about it).
Yes. Still angry. I barely functioned personally during the year of 2016. I suffered extreme anxiety. I cried most mornings on the way to work. I managed to perform at school (except for a minor marking snaffle and a few meltdowns with the boss); in the classroom, it was my best year to date.
I was not myself at all.
I did work through it. It was a sign from the universe for me to change my life. I appreciate all of that. However, other people will find themselves in situations similar to mine, and whilst I understand that children come first, I do not accept that this requires an adult’s welfare to not count at all.
I won’t even get started on the NSW Teachers Federation’s ineptitude and failure to support me at all through all of this, after years and years of dedicated service to the union as a Federation Representative and for a shorter time, as a councillor. Grrrrrr. I resigned from the union as a result.
My dad always encouraged me to fight against, stand up against, injustice. He always has. But, I couldn’t do it during 2016. I couldn’t do it during 2017. I can do it during 2018.
Yes. The anger with the process is still there. My mental health is in a great place. But, it is still terrifying to think that I will be opening a can of worms by putting forth a complaint. What if? What if? What if?
I need to focus on what is. And, in the present, I am in a position to stand up. I hate being brave and feeling responsible. Why can’t someone else do it …